Conservation is now recognized worldwide as an important component of sustainable development, particularly in cities undergoing rapid development. In Hong Kong, however, it was not until the recent years that the city's government, citizens and the media have brought more attention to the development of the city's cultural and arts scene and preservation of the former British colony's unique cultural heritage. In response to the social unrest, the government has begun to develop a specific strategy with regard to the arts and culture. One main focus of their strategies lies in the preservation of Hong Kong cultural heritage. However, despite the government’s effort on heritage preservation, what probably is just as frustrating is the Hong Kong government’s awkward attempts at heritage preservation and privatization of public spaces. Is the government making progress to preserve our cultural heritage? Or is it just making progress to transform our heritage into commodities and taking further steps to engage in economic exploitation of public space? What elements should be put into consideration when we talk about cultural preservation and urban planning? Where are the missing parts in the design of existing projects to stand a chance of living the metropolitan spaces in accordance with the real needs and hopes of the people who live in the space?
Problem that lies behind the positive metropolitan image of Hong Kong Despite the image of Hong Kong as a metropolitan city successful in international finance, commerce and tourism, a deep-rooted problem that lies in Hong Kong people’s heart is a lack of sense of belonging, a lack of Hong Kong identity. During colonial period, Hong Kong has been referred to as a borrowed space and borrowed time. Meanwhile, the differences in culture and civilization between Hong Kong and China created a barrier to Hong Kong people’s identifying themselves as Chinese. “Hong Kong’s lack of identity is also due to its status as not so...
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